insuring a good welcome*

This is Lloyds of London’s office, in case you did not recognise it and wondered what it had to do with today’s blog!

Being diligent consumers, when our insurances are up for renewal we shop around. We check to see that the price we have been quoted and the cover offered is the best available. And if we can get a better deal that our current insurer can’t match we will switch to the new insurer.

A while ago I used to think that customer loyalty meant something to these companies. I used to think that because I had been with a company for a while they would give me a better offer. I used to think that because I had been with them for a few years they would consider me a preferred customer. But the reality I have discovered is that they expect customers to switch in the manner I have described and do very little about trying to keep us. They don’t count customer loyalty very highly, in my experience.

At least that’s true of the big companies who process our accounts with computers and think of us as numbers on a spreadsheet.

I have my home insurance with a smaller company who don’t work through a website. I get to speak to a real person each time I have a query or want to renew. They are great. They are friendly. They are personal. I get the feeling they want me to stay with them.

A couple of weeks ago we switched my wife’s car insurance to a new company. Since then they have pestered her with weekly phone calls – offering her better deals on her other insurances, offering to quote for insurance we don’t have or want, and being rather persistent. I think she’s regretting using that company.

It’s a very delicate balance. I presume that these companies would prefer us to stay with them. But it is difficult to provide a personal service when you are as big as them. And you can be overzealous in your communication.

I have tried applying the same concept to churches.

It seems that many people have a loyalty to a particular church. But we can’t take that for granted. If we do they can ultimately feel neglected and perhaps wonder if they would be more appreciated in a different church. Do those who are disaffected wonder whether we would miss them? Do they believe we don’t care? And the larger the church, the more difficult it is to ensure that people are still cared for adequately. As followers of Jesus, who met the needs of individuals in large crowds, we need to ensure that we show his love and treat each person as precious.

Those who are newcomers to a church can be given a warm welcome, but is it possible to be overzealous? Do we see them as potential new leaders for our children’s groups or new house group leaders when they have only been coming for three weeks?

It’s not easy. If we get it right in our church I will bottle it and sell it!

In the meantime, if you are feeling either neglected or overstretched in your church, don’t assume that someone else is aware. If you want it sorted, speak with someone. They will want to put things right. It may require grace, forgiveness, apologies and time, but it is worth it. You’re worth it!

Be blessed, be a blessing.

A true story.

A friend of mine was contacted by a salesman who want to speak to him about insurance. He agreed to give him 45 minutes of his time if the insurance salesman would give him 15 minutes so he could talk about a different insurance scheme. The salesman agreed.

He came around to my friend’s house and spoke about what they could offer. After 45 minutes my friend politely declined the offer.

(He is a Rev).

My friend then said, “So I would like to talk to you about eternal life insurance…”

 

*yes I do know that it should be ‘ensuring a good welcome’ but I like the pun

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